In the managed IT services business, your focus is not only on keeping your clients’ IT environment running smoothly, but also on building a thriving business for years to come. In order to effectively sell your services and achieve scalability, you need to differentiate your business from the rest. What are the unique benefits you can offer? How should your audience think of your brand? Who is your ideal audience and what’s the best way to speak to them?
Utilizing inbound marketing tactics will help you find more opportunities and close clients faster. Follow these proven steps to take full advantage of the sales funnel and, as a result, position your company as the clear solution for future clients.
Anticipate Customer Needs
Your marketing strategy should aim to answer the questions, concerns and needs that your clients and prospects may have. Therefore, you must first have a solid understanding of what those are. This can be done by developing your ideal buyer personas.
Once you have these nailed down, your next step is to anticipate what prospects or visitors to your website are looking for by understanding where they are in the new buyer’s journey. You can create content and/or messaging that meets them at the right place at the right time—whether it be the awareness stage, consideration stage or decision stage—to optimize your chance of conversion. When they do convert, it means you’ve struck the right chord. So, with consistent and targeted messaging and optimized conversion paths, you’ll be moving leads down the funnel with ease.
At the top of the funnel, prospects are still learning about who you are and how you can help them. In this stage, new website visitors aren’t ready to respond to a cold call, for instance. Instead, you can educate those visitors with search-optimized blog posts and calls-to-action that leads to conversion opportunities, such as a relevant eBook or similar piece of content.
Providing helpful and non-"salesy" blog content helps build trust with prospects who may not be ready to buy from you, and helps you become that thought leader and authority they’ll continue to turn to.
Spell Out Options
Once you convert visitors into leads, they’ll enter the middle of the funnel where they’ll start to seriously consider different solutions. It’s your job to teach your audience how to choose their best solution—but this doesn’t mean shouting that all signs point to you.
The goal in this stage is to not only educate prospects and leads about your business, but also spell out your services and the specific features or benefits they have. As you continue to educate, you can start to naturally position your business as the answer to overcoming certain challenges. Comparative white papers or case studies are great content offerings during this stage because they present your solution (along with others) as a viable option, which also helps you build credibility. Nurturing net-new contacts with email marketing is another key tactic to keep your brand top-of-mind and present at the right time.
Step into the Spotlight
It’s important to keep building familiarity and maintain consistent efforts when looking to move leads through the sales funnel. At this point, prospects should know who you are and what you can offer them—and if it’s a good fit for both parties, it’ll be the time to offer bottom-of-the-funnel content. This is where a free trial, consultation or product demo works nicely to start the dialogue and to begin to fully qualify your most interested leads one-on-one.
Also, you can take one step further into the spotlight by connecting your prospects with case studies that are relevant to their situation. If they’ve been struggling with a specific challenge—one that you helped another client overcome—this might be the perfect piece to share with them and get them one step closer to signing on the dotted line.
Bringing it Home
By properly establishing your value proposition, you’ll be able to not only reach your ideal prospects, but take them through the sales funnel with an optimized, targeted message. This will also help present your business as a reliable, trustworthy industry leader—helping you build client relationships organically.
The right time for a lead to buy is essentially when you’ve truly hit home with your audience and they trust in the way you present your services. This journey may not come to completion overnight, but it’ll build a long-lasting stream of business for your future.
By Brandon Garcin
By Gretchen Hoffman